Intended for healthcare professionals


Woman with schizophrenia is judged to have mental capacity to decide on amputation

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1737
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A woman with paranoid schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes whose foot had mummified and dropped off was perfectly capable of deciding for herself whether or not to have her leg amputated, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Peter Jackson declared, “Many who suffer from mental illness are well able to make decisions about their medical treatment, and it is important not to make unjustified assumptions to the contrary.”

The case of JB, aged 62, went to the Court of Protection in London after doctors at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust were unable to decide whether she had capacity. At some times …

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